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2023 West African Research Association (WARA) conference

March 24, 2023 @ 9:00 am - 5:00 pm


WARA Conference: ‘Peacebuilding in West Africa’

March 24 @ 9:00 am5:00 pm

Venue: Hitchcock Room, the Sonja Haynes Stone Center, UNC-Ch | REGISTER TO JOIN VIA ZOOM
WARA Conference at UNC-Chapel Hill is sponsored by: The West African Research Association (WARA), The African Studies Center at UNC-Chapel Hill, The Department of African, African American and Diaspora Studies at UNC-Chapel Hill, and The Department of Music at UNC-Chapel Hill.

The 2023 West African Research Association (WARA) is an in-person conference on West Africa for scholars based in the southeastern US region.

The conference’s theme of, “Peacebuilding in West Africa,” aims to create a scholarly discussion about the traditions, strategies, and mediums of peacebuilding that become critical in negotiating unity, solidarity, and mutual understanding across identity divides. We hope to explore various kinds of peacebuilding practices and why they matter, especially in modern African/Black contexts still marked by the profound legacies of colonialism and the challenges of postcolonial citizenship.

Opening and Welcome Address: 9:30-9:40 am

 Welcome Address: ASC Directors, WARA Board Member

Keynote Address: 9:40-10:40 am: “Return of the Griot“:

Speaker: Dr. Eric Charry, Wesleyan University

Moderator: Dr. Samba Camara, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Panel 1: 10:40 am-12:10 pm: “Popular Music and Culture as Alternative Sites of Peacebuilding

  1. Dr. Oladele Ayorinde – (Indiana University). “What a Man can do, a Woman can do better”: Fuji and Women’s Musicking on the Streets of Lagos.
  2. Dr. Robert Trowers – (North Carolina Central University). “Building Bridges through Jazz or Jazz-Equivalent Musical Practices.”
  3. Dr. Tim Ajani – (Fayetteville State University). “Nigerian Indigenous Languages and Cultures as Tools of Peacebuilding.”
  4. Dr. Samba Camara – (The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill). “Performing Interfaith Dialogue in Senegalese Muslim Hip-hop.”

(Chair: Dr. Louise Meintjes, Duke University)

Panel 2: 12:10-1:40 pm – “Post-war (Re)conciliation, Democratic Struggle, and Mutual Aid Economies in Postcolonial Contexts

  1. Dr. Amy Schwartzott – (North Carolina A&T). “War as a Potent Instigator for Arts Projects Aimed at Peacebuilding: Mozambique’s TAE Project and West African Endeavors.
  2. Dr. Samuel F Childs – (Duke University). “The Oputa Panel and the Promises of Peacebuilding in Nigeria After Military Rule.”
  3. Alfredo Rojas and Dr. Colin Thor West (The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill). “Cooperation and Cashews: Household Labor in Northwestern Côte d’Ivoire”.
  4. Dr. Marame GUEYE (East Carolina University). “Feminist Organizing as Praxis Toward Democracy and Peace: The Case of Senegal.”
    (Chair: Dr. David Pier, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

Lunch Break – 45min

Panel 3: 2:25-3:55 pm: Workshop – “Career Building in African Studies

  1. Dr. Lisa Lindsay – (The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill).
  2. Dr. Michael Lambert (The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill).
  3. Dr. Mbaye Lo – (Duke University).
  4. Dr. Victoria Rovine – (The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill).
  5. Dr. Eunice Sahle – (The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill).

(Chair: Dr. Samuel Fury Childs, Duke University)

Panel 4: 3:55-5:25 pm – “Peace through Enriching Social Capital: The Case of the American-Senegalese Cultural Association

  1. Zhuri Bryant (ASCA President)
  2. Bryan Rusch (Duke University)
  3. Nadhiri, Aman Y. (Johnson C. Smith University)
  4. Mbaye Lo – (Duke University)

(Chair: Dr. Youssef Carter, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

Closing Remarks: ASC Directors


March 24, 2023
9:00 am - 5:00 pm


Department of African, African American, & Diaspora Studies
African Studies Center
Department of Music


Sonja Haynes Stone Center
UNC Chapel Hill Campus
Chapel Hill, NC United States
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